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An explanation: "Remember where you came from. Remember what you are"
I have always been an artist in one form or another, and it bleeds into activities that might not generally be considered art. When I ignore it, it comes out anyway. If I suppress it, I am less in balance. In terms of visual art, I have had a strong connection to ceramics since I was an adolescent, going through periods of creative intensity that last years--which have made me appreciate that creative expression is an essential aspect of health! Also, I come from a family of professional musicians, so sometimes I think working sensitively with my hands is in my blood.
Over time, creating these pieces has become a spiritual practice, and the pots themselves teach me a lot as I spend time with them. At first this felt, as you can imagine, generally meditative. The creation process involves a number of steps and I allowed myself to disregard time and fully immerse myself in each one until I was satisfied. I had the shapes in my head: refined, beautiful, harmonious shapes. They even had to feel a certain way in my hands. I chose to combine this very meticulous process with unpredictable, low-fire methods in which the surface patterns would be out of my control and the resulting work would be fragile and might even be destroyed in the firing process! Fortunately, that rarely happened. I enjoyed that the resulting work was nonfunctional and impractical. This offered the opportunity to reorient to beauty and harmony as reasons for existence. I also found it satisfying that the pieces were fragile. Vulnerability is an asset, is it not? Also, it's impossible to preserve anything forever (and I think it's interesting to see our many and varied attempts at holding on). Let's appreciate the pots now, while we are with them.
...This is all deep and interesting and a lovely set of metaphors, but over the years, as I have become more sensitive to energy and to my connections to the earth and the cosmos, I have started to be able to feel the pots in a different way. When they are trimmed right and feel "done," this goes beyond feeling the weight balanced--they feel like they are plugged in (especially the orbs). When I look at the surfaces, I am informed by what I see. Perhaps this is deeper contemplation, but it seems like much more. At this point, I am very inspired to share these pieces. I intend them to be sources of beauty, grace, connection, and comfort to whoever finds them. And I am pretty sure they have their own messages for you, beyond what I can describe.
I am so grateful to be a "space holder" for both the process and the finished work. It is quite a gift to have this way to be reminded of my essential nature as a soul in a body, a resident, here and now, of space.
More about the techniques
This pottery is made using low-temperature firing techniques: either horsehair or barrel-fire. Both of these processes have interesting histories--horsehair has its roots in the Native American southwest, and barrel firing is a variant of pit firing, which is the oldest way to fire pottery. I find these styles appealing because of their simplicity. The work is not glazed; instead, it is burnished (rubbed with a smooth stone), which produces the glassy surface.
I throw these pieces on the wheel, trim them carefully, and burnish them with a smooth stone or two (often labradorite) before firing them to a low temperature in an electric kiln. Then, for the horsehair technique, the pieces are heated up again to an even lower temperature (1000 F), taken out of the kiln while hot, and hair, feathers, or other substances are applied. You must work quickly, although it's not really work! In barrel firing, the pieces are packed into a metal barrel with combustibles and oxides, and all are set on fire. In either case, once everything has cooled down, the pieces are washed and waxed. Both techniques produce one-of-a-kind, atmospheric surfaces with serendipitous effects.
...If you are interested, some of this work is displayed at Hudson Valley Pottery, in Rhinebeck, NY!
You can also check out my creation journey on instagram...
I do sell my work. Here is my page on Etsy. Or contact me to order something specifically intended for you.
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